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Doctor Who - The Invasion

episode 46

UK 1968
produced by
Peter Bryant for BBC
directed by Douglas Camfield
starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Kevin Stoney, Sally Faulkner, Peter Halliday, Nicholas Courtney, John Levene, Geoffrey Cheshire, Ian Fairbairn, James Thornhill, Robert Sidaway, Edward Burnham, Edward Dentith, Clifford Earl, Norman Hartley
story by Kit Pedler, screenplay by Derrick Sherwin, script editor: Terrance Dicks, music by Don Harper, Cybermen created by Kit Pedler, Gerry Davis

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton), Doctor Who (classic series), Cybermen, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Because he is attacked by a missile on th dark side of the moon, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton) has to land his time-and-space ship TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) on earth, but when a few of the TARDIS' circuits go bust, he and his companions Zoe (Wendy Padbury) and the highlander Jamie (Frazer Hines) have to go visit a certain Professor Watkins (Edward Burnham) to have them fixed - only to learn from Watkins' photographer niece Isobel (Dsllx Faulkner) that Watkins seems to have disappeared, and all of this might have something to do with the all powerful International Electromatics company.

When the Doctor and Jamie pay a visit to the company, they are met by way too rude security personnel and a way too nice company boss - Vaughn (Kevin Stoney) - to not grow a bit suspicious. Later, when Zoe and Isobel come to the company to look for the Doctor and Jamie, they are taken prisoner ...

The Doctor meanwhile meets his old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), head of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Task force) and learns thatInternational Electromatics has made it a habit to kidnap reknowned scientists ... but n obody can prove anything yet.

Eventually, it becomes clear that Vaughn plans to help the Cybermen - an outer space species of eobo-men - to take over the earth, but once that is accomplished he plans to pull a fast one on the Cybermen, using one of Professor Watkins' inventions to infuse them with emotions the Cabermen - as robots - are naturally allergic to.

When the Doctor saves Zoe and Isobel (per helicopter, no less), he learns all this about the Cybermen, plus that they are planning to put humankind under their hypnotic spell from outer space ... but at least he has a handful of neuristers - gadgets that counteract any form of hypnotism - to save himself and his love ones from the Cybermen's hocus pocus ... and once that is accomplished, the Doctor and UNIT start to fight back.

Meanwhile, Vaughn realizes his plan to rule the world doesn't go exactly as he wanted to and he starts to use Watkins' machine on the Cybermen, which causes the Cybermen to launch the megatron bomb to pretty much annihilate humankind in one go. But the Doctor and UNIT launch several missiles both against the megatron bomb and the Cybermen invasion fleet and destroy them all, plus at the same time they help Vaughn fight the Cybermen he himself has invited on his own turf. In the end, Vaughn is allowed to die a hero's death while the Doc, his friends and UNIT save the world once more - and as a thank you, the Doctor gets his broken circuits fixed ...

 

On the plus-side this earthbound Doctor Who adventure is less childish and more serious in tone than many of Patrick Troughton's Doctor Who adventures, actually it almost has an edge to it ... but on the downside, it's just way too long, clocking in at over three hours - and considering this is only another alien invasion story, the whole thing seems at times to be incredibly dragged out. To be fair, the episode contains some creepy images - like the Cybermen army marching through London - but they get lost in the many subplots to fill up the 3+ hours. It probably would have been at half the running time !

 

Today, chapters one and four of the episode are presumed lost, but have been recreated as computer animations (courtesey of Cosgrove Hall), still retaining the original soundtrack (which for some reason did not get lost). The result is less than perfect, but regarding that the episodes might not exist anywhere anymore the best one can hope for.

 

Doctor Who fans will of course know, this is the first episode to feature UNIT, an organisation that will gain importance especially during Jon Pertwee's run as the Doctor.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD